Super Lawyers
William C. Altreuter

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Onwards from akqa on Vimeo. This charming video captures the reason I went to the Ridge today. For an hour I was able to get outside my head, a much-needed retreat.

At some point I am going to record the events of the past two weeks; I think some chronology is important in order to put the realization that has been dawning on me the past few days into some sort of context. For now, a couple of points, and an update. Lymph node biopsy, CAT scan, bone scan and MRI all indicate that there has been no spread. EGA will be meeting with her Bloomington medical oncologist Tuesday; she will start on her 15 week long chemo regimen shortly thereafter. All of that is positive, but what is dawning on me is that this entire process is about uncertainty. When she called on Good Friday to tell us that they suspected she had breast cancer we didn't know anything. When she went in for the biopsy on Monday, we spent the rest of the day not knowing anything. When we learned the results of the biopsy, we knew what the results were, and we felt like we were filling in details. That was an illusion: we really only know whatever it is that we think we know to within a degree of statistical probability, something that we have already established is nearly completely unreliable. So for the short term what we will know is when Emily will start chemo. At some point we will know what her Bloomington oncologist's impression is about the efficacy of the particular treatment; and before that we will know just how sick and miserable the chemo makes Emily. In 15 weeks we'll know what the docs think the chemo has accomplished, and shortly after that we will hear her surgeon tell us that the procedure went well, but we still won't know anything. We are now permanently wondering about Schrödinger's Cat, minute to minute, day to day. I thought I was a good existentialist. I thought I had adjusted myself to beams falling; it turns out I hadn't figuired on any beams falling on someone I love.

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